Alice disappears; Bob gets the access. Ensuring no lockout of digital assets.

The problem CryptoWill solves

Today, lockout of digital assets of a person on the blockchain in case of an untimely death or unforeseen circumstance leads to huge losses.

According to new research from Chainlysis, 3.79 million bitcoins are already gone for good based on a high estimate.
Those number imply 17% to 23% of existing bitcoins, which are today worth around $9000 each, are lost.
More 20% to 30% bitcoins in near future are likely to be lost.

We intend to solve this by making a crypto will for a person for providing access to a pre defined successor if heartbeat stops for the owner. Successor has no access before the policy containing re encrypting the owner's private key is executed after his/her death.

Challenges we ran into

It was the idea that led us to using NuCypher. We were still kind of new to this technology. But once we saw that our idea can be implemented greatly using NuCypher, we couldn't resist. The first pair of problems we ran into was running all the characters(Alice, Bob, Enrico, Ursula) locally. There were known issues in the NuCypher's commands that we got to later from the supporting team from NuCypher. After that, we had our idea pretty clear, If Alice disappears; Bob must get the access of Alice's account. The only way to achieve this was to let Alice share her Private key and pre deciding on her successor and then making sure that there is no point of failure. To make the system totally trustless, we needed to write a smart-contract that user can trust and is publicly available for verification. But the time was the only enemy and NuCypher doesn't provide any support for Solidity integration directly. Another bump on the road. Then we finally decided to work with nucypher's python implementation and build an application. Since at any given point of time we only have the public keys in our system or encrypted version of the private key, there is no possibilities of misuse. We dropped our smart contract implementation done on the first night and started building a Django app with a user-friendly UI and a convincing idea. It wasn't all the sun-shine all the way down, because we hit another wall when there was no other way around than copying Bob's verifying and encrypting keys directly from running a local instance of bob. We also have some assumptions along the way but I think we have made a decent usecase implementation and we also have a great tangible road map ahead of us. Also NuCypher is improving their packages and services on a day-to-day basis, we look forward to getting the most out of it and be an active member of this community. Also faced some issues with integrating Tor.us as a web3 provider. After all, we didn't #HODL, we believed in #BUIDL.

Technologies used